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Category Archives: Dynamics 365 F&O
There’s a famous Nobel Prize winning study in psychology around Experience versus Confidence that is commonly known as the “Dunning-Kruger” effect. The study showed when we know a little bit about a topic, we initially rate our confidence level extremely high. As we attain intermediate experience, our confidence level dips way down. Then as we actually attain expertise, our confidence goes back up, but never quite as high as it originally was.
I’ve certainly felt this way in many areas of my work and personal life. One of my hobbies is photography; it seems like many times the more photos I take, the lower my confidence level gets. It’s an odd and frustrating feeling.
2012 vs 2017. Maybe I’m improving?
Hello? The Title of this Post Mentioned BI?
About a year ago I was asked by SAGlobal to head up our Business Intelligence and Reporting group. “Great,” I thought. Grab some data, sprinkle in some Power BI, drill down-through-over-beyond, and let our praises be sung. Confidence level: 100%.
Then that dreaded Experience took over and started to teach me that perhaps there are additional lessons to learn.
Technology Versus Decision Making
Experience taught me that all the pretty graphs, data, and fancy user experiences are simultaneously important and irrelevant. There’s a lot of complexity that can be introduced around methodologies, user stories, maturity models, metrics, technologies, data science, and machine learning.
What really matters is how can businesses make more accurate, faster, and fact-based decisions? In other words, how can BI and Reporting improve the bottom line?
Many times the decision making process is buried in the hearts and minds of the people in the business. Turning soft intuitions and feelings into hard metrics and performance indicators is a process that’s longer term than just developing any single report. The most underrated part of a Business Intelligence solution is extracting the intelligence from the business.
Help Companies Make Better Decisions
Organizations may go through their own Dunning-Kruger lifecycle when it comes to Business Intelligence. Initially they see the latest and greatest tools, and Confidence is at 100%. Experience goes up, and there may be a drop in Confidence around their progress. Over time, key concepts and ideas are visualized in ways used to take a human to analyze and the Confidence goes sky high.
If the decision making process sounds intriguing to you, or fits someone you know, check out our BI Business Analyst job ad on LinkedIn. We’re hiring, and I’m 100% Confident you’ll love it.
Please vote for my idea – all external facing documents in Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations, Enterprise Edition should be beautiful.
Scott has a great opening slide for this deep-dive reporting session:
It’s so true that many times BI is described in terms of the final output, but much of the work goes into building the underlying data model. For D365FO, data for high volume transactional reporting is exported to an “Entity store” or “BYOD” database.
Entity Store – A Data Warehouse that Microsoft Manages
The Entity store is a repository for reporting aggegated data. Power BI using Direct Query is the only mechanism to report off Entity store data.
Power BI Embedded in Workspaces is only available using the Entity store.
Bring Your Own Database – A Data Warehouse the You Manage
The alternative to the Entity store is using the Data Management framework to extract denormalized data into an Azure SQL database in your Azure subscription. One of the primary advantages of BYOD is more flexible than the Entity store.
Data tools possible with BYOD:
- Power BI using Direct Query or Import
- SSAS Cubes
- Consuming data from systems other than D365FO
- Third party data tools
Reporting tools possible with BYOD:
- Power BI
- Third party reporting tools
Great session providing a deeper dive into the technical details of using the new D365FO tools. Reporting is a complicated but critical area to understand for any D365FO implementation.
There have been quite a few improvements to the Data Management Workspace released in Platform 11:
There’s still a dependency on having a good definition of the Data entities and sequencing required for the company copy. Microsoft is providing some templates, but it takes a good amount of testing to flush out a solid template.
Presenter: Mike Falkner
I was thrilled to see this session on the AXUG Summit docket. An somewhat agile ERP implementation is generally what will end up happening, because it’s incredibly hard for users to Design an entire system before they are deep into system functionality. Planning a project broken down in smaller chunks helps keep projects flowing and provides a solution better suited to native functionality.
Jennifer (the presenter) had an interesting way of describing Agile (frequent go-lives) and Hybrid (multiple sprints). A hybrid concept breaks down subsets of functionality and development into multiple short phases, then brings all functionality live at the same time.
One of the drawbacks mentioned was an agile approach requires strong project management skills to deliver. There are a lot of workstreams (Business process, Development, Data migration, etc) the project manager has to align from a timing perspective. Also, end users may not be used to an agile approach, so more methodology explanation is required on the front end of the project.
Excellent session – I agree a Hybrid implementation approach is the best default implementation option. This style of implementation moves the project forward quickly, while giving users a chance to revise and hone their system processes.
Microsoft’s documentation strategy for Dynamics 365 continues to evolve. Dynamics 365 Documentation is created using a few tools including Doc FX, GitHub, and Markdown files. Doc FX is an open source GitHub based tool for creating a documentation library. Files are created in Markdown format and managed via typical Git pull requests. Basically, it’s a documentation tool for nerds.
Once a documentation site is published, Dynamics 365 FO can serch the metadata from articles and return relevant results. The help pane can be customized (extended) to link into additional help sites or internal Wikis.
Microsoft is working on sharing their solution via the Doc FX toolkit so ISVs or customers can utilize the same documentation technology.
I’m still trying to get my head around the best approach for public and private documentation. My instinct is that a tool with a wysiwyg editor might be more efficient for a typical user base. My company (SAGlobal) uses a SharePoint Wiki site to manage our internal documentation because it’s simple and accessible for a larger number of users.
AXUG Speaker: Margo Crandall